Danny Masterson trial: Woman testifies actor raped, choked her



Warning: This story accommodates graphic particulars which may be disturbing to the reader.

A girl broke down on the witness stand Wednesday whereas giving graphic testimony a couple of 2003 night time when she mentioned she emerged from unconsciousness to search out actor Danny Masterson raping her.

She is the primary of three girls who say Masterson raped them to testify throughout his Los Angeles trial. She mentioned at one level she grabbed Masterson’s hair to attempt to pull him away, however he shoved a pillow into her face.

“I used to be smothered,” she mentioned, crying. “I couldn’t breathe.”

She mentioned she later grabbed his throat to attempt to push him away however he held her down and commenced choking her.

Asked by the prosecutor what she was considering on the time, she replied: “That he was going to kill me. That I used to be going to die.”

By this level she was weeping. After she mentioned “I can not do that,” the choose known as for a quick break and a courtroom victims’ companies advocate comforted her on the witness stand.

When she took the stand once more, she testified that Masterson pulled a gun from a drawer in his bedside desk and ordered her to be quiet when there was a commotion — and voices — on the door.

She mentioned that, all through the night time, she handed out and in of consciousness regardless of consuming solely about half of a fruity vodka drink Masterson had handed her.

Masterson, 46, who on the time was a star of the Fox TV sitcom “That ’70s Show,” has pleaded not responsible to 3 counts of rape.

His legal professional was set to cross-examine the lady later Wednesday or Thursday.

A earlier defence lawyer for Masterson contended the three girls had every reframed consensual intercourse as rape.

The Associated Press doesn’t title individuals who say they’ve been sexually abused until they arrive ahead publicly.

Masterson, sitting on the defence desk in a swimsuit, regarded towards the lady as she testified, however had no seen response. His spouse, actor and model Bijou Phillips, sat behind him on the entrance of the gallery, together with a number of of his relations and associates.

The girl, then 27, was one of the best pal of Masterson’s assistant and a part of the identical social circle of Church of Scientology members.

She testified that she had solely meant to go to Masterson’s home to select up a set of keys, and that her relationship had been uneasy with Masterson for the reason that two had intercourse a number of months earlier, an incident she informed police was consensual in 2004 however later determined she hadn’t consented to.

When she informed a number of mutual associates from the church about that incident, together with her shut pal Lisa Marie Presley — daughter of Elvis Presley and former spouse of Michael Jackson — and Masterson’s assistant Brie Shaffer, it opened a rift within the group.

All three of Masterson’s accusers have been members of the Church of Scientology on the time they are saying they have been raped, however have since left. Masterson stays a member. Judge Charlaine Olmedo mentioned earlier than the trial that she wouldn’t enable Scientology to turn into a de facto defendant, however would enable restricted dialogue of it.

Before the lady took the stand Wednesday after starting her testimony Tuesday, the choose warned her to not stray too far into discussions of the faith, a problem she had already admonished Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller about.

Scientology nonetheless got here up. The girl testified that a few of her mutual associates filed so-called “information studies” signalling their unhappiness with her after she informed them in regards to the preliminary incident with Masterson, and he or she was summoned by an ethics officer who compelled her to make peace with him and take accountability.

“You can by no means be a sufferer,” the lady mentioned. “No matter what occurs, you are all the time accountable.”

She testified that she signed a non-disclosure settlement with Masterson in 2004, and accepted $400,000 over the course of a yr, as a result of the church was going to tar her as a “suppressive individual” in any other case.

She testified that she had solely anticipated to be at Masterson’s home, a social hub for his or her pal circle, for a couple of minutes.

The girl would file a police report in regards to the night time the next yr, however no fees resulted. She went again to police late in 2016 after connecting with one of many different girls who will testify.

Masterson’s is one in every of a number of trials with .MeToo themes happening concurrently on from coast to coast. They embrace Harvey Weinstein’s second rape and sexual assault trial simply down the corridor, and civil trials in New York for actor Kevin Spacey and for screenwriter and director Paul Haggis, who’re each being sued for sexual assault.

Scientology additionally has a significant position within the trial of Haggis, a church dissident who’s being allowed to argue that the establishment is behind the allegations in opposition to him.

The Associated Press doesn’t title individuals who say they’ve been sexually abused until they arrive ahead publicly.


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